South Korea runs CBRN drills

In Paju, South Korea, dozens of residents recently evacuated to underground parking lots and wore gas masks as part of a mass evacuation drill against chemical, biological and radiological attacks from nearby North Korea.

Rescue workers in Paju also conducted casualty simulation drills, bringing wounded residents pretending to be infected with chemical agents to local hospitals, according to

The drills came alongside new diplomatic pressure from the United States and regional powers towards North Korea. New Mexico's Gov. Bill Richardson was scheduled to stop in China on his way to North Korea this week. He has acted as a diplomatic troubleshooter with the rogue nation and has made several visits in the past.

Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, China’s lead foreign policy official, recently returned from North Korea and is scheduled to hold talks with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg in Beijing, reports. China is being pressured by the United States to try to get North Korea to abandon its dangerous behavior.

Meanwhile, evacuation drills are being held across South Korea in the wake of the North Korean shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, a disputed island near the border. In the artillery duel that followed, four South Koreans were killed. Casualties in the north are unknown.

In Seoul, residents stopped their cars and ran to underground shelters in the country’s largest ever evacuation drill, ending any previous indifference South Koreans may have had about a potential attack by Pyongyang.

"We will need these evacuation plans and skills sooner or later in case war breaks out, and I think war can happen any time," Han Yoo-jin said, according to